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Concept: Geostationary orbit


The Chinese BeiDou system (BDS), having different types of satellites, is an important addition to the ever growing system of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). It consists of Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) satellites, Inclined Geosynchronous Satellite Orbit (IGSO) satellites and Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites. This paper investigates the receiver-dependent bias between these satellite types, for which we coined the name “inter-satellite-type bias” (ISTB), and its impact on mixed receiver attitude determination. Assuming different receiver types may have different delays/biases for different satellite types, we model the differential ISTBs among three BeiDou satellite types and investigate their existence and their impact on mixed receiver attitude determination. Our analyses using the real data sets from Curtin’s GNSS array consisting of different types of BeiDou enabled receivers and series of zero-baseline experiments with BeiDou-enabled receivers reveal the existence of non-zero ISTBs between different BeiDou satellite types. We then analyse the impact of these biases on BeiDou-only attitude determination using the constrained (C-)LAMBDA method, which exploits the knowledge of baseline length. Results demonstrate that these biases could seriously affect the integer ambiguity resolution for attitude determination using mixed receiver types and that a priori correction of these biases will dramatically improve the success rate.

Concepts: Communications satellite, Global navigation satellite system, Satellite, Satellite navigation systems, Low Earth orbit, Geostationary orbit, Geosynchronous orbit, Earth orbits


BACKGROUND: Microarrays have become a routine tool to address diverse biological questions. Therefore, different types and generations of microarrays have been produced by several manufacturers over time. Likewise, the diversity of raw data deposited in public databases such as NCBI GEO or EBI ArrayExpress has grown enormously.This has resulted in databases currently containing several hundred thousand microarray samples clustered by different species, manufacturers and chip generations. While one of the original goals of these databases was to make the data available to other researchers for independent analysis and, where appropriate, integration with their own data, current software implementations could not provide that feature.Only those data sets generated on the same chip platform can be readily combined and even here there are batch effects to be taken care of. A straightforward approach to deal with multiple chip types and batch effects has been missing.The software presented here was designed to solve both of these problems in a convenient and user friendly way. RESULTS: The virtualArray software package can combine raw data sets using almost any chip types based on current annotations from NCBI GEO or Bioconductor. After establishing congruent annotations for the raw data, virtualArray can then directly employ one of seven implemented methods to adjust for batch effects in the data resulting from differences between the chip types used. Both steps can be tuned to the preferences of the user. When the run is finished, the whole dataset is presented as a conventional Bioconductor “ExpressionSet” object, which can be used as input to other Bioconductor packages. CONCLUSIONS: Using this software package, researchers can easily integrate their own microarray data with data from public repositories or other sources that are based on different microarray chip types. Using the default approach a robust and up-to-date batch effect correction technique is applied to the data.

Concepts: Data set, DNA microarray, Microarray, Microarrays, Raw image format, Bioconductor, Geostationary orbit, Geosynchronous orbit


The orbital maneuvers of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Constellations will decrease the performance and accuracy of positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT). Because satellites in the Chinese BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) are in Geostationary Orbit (GEO) and Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO), maneuvers occur more frequently. Also, the precise start moment of the BDS satellites' orbit maneuvering cannot be obtained by common users. This paper presented an improved real-time detecting method for BDS satellites' orbit maneuvering and anomalies with higher timeliness and higher accuracy. The main contributions to this improvement are as follows: (1) instead of the previous two-steps method, a new one-step method with higher accuracy is proposed to determine the start moment and the pseudo random noise code (PRN) of the satellite orbit maneuvering in that time; (2) BDS Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) orbital maneuvers are firstly detected according to the proposed selection strategy for the stations; and (3) the classified non-maneuvering anomalies are detected by a new median robust method using the weak anomaly detection factor and the strong anomaly detection factor. The data from the Multi-GNSS Experiment (MGEX) in 2017 was used for experimental analysis. The experimental results and analysis showed that the start moment of orbital maneuvers and the period of non-maneuver anomalies can be determined more accurately in real-time. When orbital maneuvers and anomalies occur, the proposed method improved the data utilization for 91 and 95 min in 2017.

Concepts: Communications satellite, Satellite, Low Earth orbit, Geostationary orbit, Geosynchronous orbit, Earth orbits, Synchronous orbit


The current constellation of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) consists of five geostationary earth orbit (GEO) satellites, five inclined geosynchronous satellite orbit (IGSO) satellites, and four medium earth orbit (MEO) satellites. The advantage of using GEO satellites to monitor the ionosphereis the almost motionless ionospheric pierce point (IPP), which is analyzed in comparison with the MEO and IGSO satellites. The results from the analysis of the observations using eight tracking sites indicate that the ionospheric total electron content (TEC) sequence derived from each GEO satellite at their respective fixed IPPs is always continuous. The precision of calculated vertical TEC (VTEC) using BDS B1/B2, B1/B3, and B2/B3 dual-frequency combinationsis compared and analyzed. The VTEC12precision based on the B1/B2 dual-frequency measurements using the smoothed code and the raw code combination is 0.69 and 5.54 TECU, respectively, which is slightly higher than VTEC13and much higher than VTEC23. Furthermore, the ionospheric monitoring results of site JFNG in the northern hemisphere, and CUT0 in the southern hemisphere during the period from 1 January to 31 December 2015 are presented and discussed briefly.

Concepts: Communications satellite, Satellite, Low Earth orbit, Geostationary orbit, Geosynchronous orbit, Earth orbits, Geosynchronous satellite, Synchronous orbit


During the process of land-atmosphere interaction, one of the essential parameters is the land surface temperature (LST). The LST has high temporal variability, especially in its diurnal cycle, which cannot be acquired by polar-orbiting satellites. Therefore, it is of great practical significance to retrieve LST data using geostationary satellites. According to the data of FengYun 2C (FY-2C) satellite and the measurements from the Enhanced Observing Period (CEOP) of the Asia-Australia Monsoon Project (CAMP) on the Tibetan Plateau (CAMP/Tibet), a regression approach was utilized in this research to optimize the split window algorithm (SWA). The thermal infrared data obtained by the Chinese geostationary satellite FY-2C over the Tibetan Plateau (TP) was used to estimate the hourly LST time series. To decrease the effects of cloud, the 10-day composite hourly LST data were obtained through the approach of maximal value composite (MVC). The derived LST was used to compare with the product of MODIS LST and was also validated by the field observation. The results show that the LST retrieved through the optimized SWA and in situ data has a better consistency (with correlation coefficient ®, mean absolute error (MAE), mean bias (MB), and root mean square error (RMSE) values of 0.987, 1.91 K, 0.83 K and 2.26 K, respectively) than that derived from Becker and Li’s SWA and MODIS LST product, which means that the modified SWA can be applied to achieve plateau-scale LST. The diurnal variation of the LST and the hourly time series of the LST over the Tibetan Plateau were also obtained. The diurnal range of LST was found to be clearly affected by the influence of the thawing and freezing process of soil and the summer monsoon evolution. The comparison between the seasonal and diurnal variations of LST at four typical underlying surfaces over the TP indicate that the variation of LST is closely connected with the underlying surface types as well. The diurnal variation of LST is the smallest at the water (5.12 K), second at the snow and ice (5.45 K), third at the grasslands (19.82 K) and largest at the barren or sparsely vegetated (22.83 K).

Concepts: Statistics, Root mean square, Mean squared error, Root mean square deviation, Geostationary orbit, Geosynchronous orbit, Satellites, Geosynchronous satellite


Analysis of cloud cover and its diurnal variation over the Tibetan Plateau (TP) is highly reliant on satellite data; however, the accuracy of cloud detection from both polar-orbiting and geostationary satellites over this area remains unclear. The new-generation geostationary Himawari-8 satellites provide high-resolution spatial and temporal information about clouds over the Tibetan Plateau. In this study, the cloud detection of MODIS and AHI is investigated and validated against CALIPSO measurements. For AHI and MODIS, the false alarm rate of AHI and MODIS in cloud identification over the TP was 7.51% and 1.94%, respectively, and the cloud hit rate was 73.55% and 80.15%, respectively. Using hourly cloud-cover data from the Himawari-8 satellites, we found that at the monthly scale, the diurnal cycle in cloud cover over the TP tends to increase throughout the day, with the minimum and maximum cloud fractions occurring at 10:00 a.m. and 18:00 p.m. local time. Due to the limited time resolution of polar-orbiting satellites, the underestimation of MODIS daytime average cloud cover is approximately 4.00% at the annual scale, with larger biases during the spring (5.40%) and winter (5.90%).

Concepts: Time, Circadian rhythm, Diurnal temperature variation, Clouds, Geostationary orbit, Geosynchronous orbit, Satellites, Geosynchronous satellite


Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) carrier phase measurement for short baseline meets the requirements of deformation monitoring of large structures. However, the carrier phase multipath effect is the main error source with double difference (DD) processing. There are lots of methods to deal with the multipath errors of Global Position System (GPS) carrier phase data. The BeiDou navigation satellite System (BDS) multipath mitigation is still a research hotspot because the unique constellation design of BDS makes it different to mitigate multipath effects compared to GPS. Multipath error periodically repeats for its strong correlation to geometry of satellites, reflective surface and antenna which is also repetitive. We analyzed the characteristics of orbital periods of BDS satellites which are consistent with multipath repeat periods of corresponding satellites. The results show that the orbital periods and multipath periods for BDS geostationary earth orbit (GEO) and inclined geosynchronous orbit (IGSO) satellites are about one day but the periods of MEO satellites are about seven days. The Kalman filter (KF) and Rauch-Tung-Striebel Smoother (RTSS) was introduced to extract the multipath models from single difference (SD) residuals with traditional sidereal filter (SF). Wavelet filter and Empirical mode decomposition (EMD) were also used to mitigate multipath effects. The experimental results show that the three filters methods all have obvious effect on improvement of baseline accuracy and the performance of KT-RTSS method is slightly better than that of wavelet filter and EMD filter. The baseline vector accuracy on east, north and up (E, N, U) components with KF-RTSS method were improved by 62.8%, 63.6%, 62.5% on day of year 280 and 57.3%, 53.4%, 55.9% on day of year 281, respectively.

Concepts: Global Positioning System, Communications satellite, Geodesy, Satellite, Geostationary orbit, Geosynchronous orbit, Earth orbits, Geosynchronous satellite


The frequent maneuvering of BeiDou Geostationary Orbit (GEO) and Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO) satellites affects the availability of real-time orbit, and decreases the accuracy and performance of positioning, navigation and time (PNT) services. BeiDou satellite maneuver information cannot be obtained by common users. BeiDou broadcast ephemeris is the only indicator of the health status of satellites, which are broadcast on an hourly basis, easily leading to ineffective observations. Sometimes, identification errors of satellite abnormity also appear in the broadcast ephemeris. This study presents a real-time robust detection method for a satellite orbital maneuver with high frequency and high reliability. By using the broadcast ephemeris and pseudo-range observations, the time discrimination factor and the satellite identification factor were defined and used for the real-time detection of start time and the pseudo-random noise code (PRN) of satellites was used for orbital maneuvers. Data from a Multi-GNSS Experiment (MGEX) was collected and analyzed. The results show that the start time and the PRN of the satellite orbital maneuver could be detected accurately in real time. In addition, abnormal start times and satellite abnormities caused by non-maneuver factors also could be detected using the proposed method. The new method not only improves the utilization of observations for users with the data effective for about 92 min, but also promotes the reliability of real-time PNT services.

Concepts: Communications satellite, Satellite, Geostationary orbit, Geosynchronous orbit, Geosynchronous satellite, Synchronous orbit, Astrodynamics


This study validated and investigated elevation- and frequency-dependent systematic biases observed in ground-based code measurements of the Chinese BeiDou navigation satellite system, using the onboard BeiDou code measurement data from the Chinese meteorological satellite Fengyun-3C. Particularly for geostationary earth orbit satellites, sky-view coverage can be achieved over the entire elevation and azimuth angle ranges with the available onboard tracking data, which is more favorable to modeling code biases. Apart from the BeiDou-satellite-induced biases, the onboard BeiDou code multipath effects also indicate pronounced near-field systematic biases that depend only on signal frequency and the line-of-sight directions. To correct these biases, we developed a proposed code correction model by estimating the BeiDou-satellite-induced biases as linear piece-wise functions in different satellite groups and the near-field systematic biases in a grid approach. To validate the code bias model, we carried out orbit determination using single-frequency BeiDou data with and without code bias corrections applied. Orbit precision statistics indicate that those code biases can seriously degrade single-frequency orbit determination. After the correction model was applied, the orbit position errors, 3D root mean square, were reduced from 150.6 to 56.3 cm.

Concepts: Scientific method, Root mean square, Communications satellite, Satellite, Geostationary orbit, Geosynchronous orbit, Satellites, Geosynchronous satellite


The carrier phase multipath effect is one of the most significant error sources in the precise positioning of BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS). We analyzed the characteristics of BDS multipath, and found the multipath errors of geostationary earth orbit (GEO) satellite signals are systematic, whereas those of inclined geosynchronous orbit (IGSO) or medium earth orbit (MEO) satellites are both systematic and random. The modified multipath mitigation methods, including sidereal filtering algorithm and multipath hemispherical map (MHM) model, were used to improve BDS dynamic deformation monitoring. The results indicate that the sidereal filtering methods can reduce the root mean square (RMS) of positioning errors in the east, north and vertical coordinate directions by 15%, 37%, 25% and 18%, 51%, 27% in the coordinate and observation domains, respectively. By contrast, the MHM method can reduce the RMS by 22%, 52% and 27% on average. In addition, the BDS multipath errors in static baseline solutions are a few centimeters in multipath-rich environments, which is different from that of Global Positioning System (GPS) multipath. Therefore, we add a parameter representing the GEO multipath error in observation equation to the adjustment model to improve the precision of BDS static baseline solutions. And the results show that the modified model can achieve an average precision improvement of 82%, 54% and 68% in the east, north and up coordinate directions, respectively.

Concepts: Global Positioning System, Global navigation satellite system, GPS, Geodesy, Satellite, Geostationary orbit, Geosynchronous orbit, Earth orbits